When less is more in Twenty20
The World Twenty20 matches in England over the last fortnight did not conform to the fare usually served during 20-over thrashes. The tournament had fewer 200-plus totals than the inaugural competition in South Africa in 2007 did, fewer sixes per match, and no centuries. So in this week's List, which makes a return after a three-week hiatus, we've looked at Twenty20 matches that a team has won despite hitting fewer boundaries and scoring at a lower run-rate than the opposition.
It isn't often that a team wins in Twenty20 cricket despite hitting six fewer sixes than their opponents. In fact, it's happened only once, during the opening game of the World Twenty20 in South Africa. West Indies hit 12 sixes, 10 of which came off Chris Gayle's bat and one each from Marlon Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan, during their innings of 205. South Africa hit only six sixes during their chase but made up the difference with 24 fours, the most in an innings at the time, and ran down the target of 206 with eight wickets and 14 balls to spare. The aggregate of 252 runs scored through fours and sixes remains a record for the most runs from boundaries in a match.
It wasn't a one-off for South Africa, either. They pulled off a similar victory at the Wanderers in March this year, when Australia hit eight sixes but managed to score only 166. South Africa did it in fours, clearing the boundary only three times, and reached the target in the final over of the innings.
|South Africa||208/2||6||v West Indies||205/6||12||-6||Johannesburg||Sep 11, 2007||T20I 20|
|South Africa||168/6||3||v Australia||166/7||8||-5||Johannesburg||Mar 27, 2009||T20I 87|
|England||173/5||1||v West Indies||169/7||5||-4||The Oval||Jun 29, 2007||T20I 16|
|Bangladesh||165/4||4||v West Indies||164/8||8||-4||Johannesburg||Sep 13, 2007||T20I 24|
|India||157/5||4||v Pakistan||152||8||-4||Johannesburg||Sep 24, 2007||T20I 46|
|New Zealand||150/5||3||v India||149/6||7||-4||Wellington||Feb 27, 2009||T20I 85|
|South Africa||146/3||4||v Bangladesh||144||7||-3||Cape Town||Sep 15, 2007||T20I 31|
|England||127/1||1||v New Zealand||123/9||4||-3||Manchester||Jun 13, 2008||T20I 56|
|Sri Lanka||160/4||4||v Australia||159/9||7||-3||Nottingham||Jun 8, 2009||T20I 97|
|South Africa||201/4||7||v Australia||199/7||9||-2||Johannesburg||Feb 24, 2006||T20I 6|
|Australia||186/6||5||v New Zealand||132||7||-2||Perth||Dec 11, 2007||T20I 49|
|Scotland||100/2||0||v Bermuda||99/7||2||-2||Belfast||Aug 3, 2008||T20I 61|
|Pakistan||110/3||1||v Zimbabwe||107/8||3||-2||King City (NW)||Oct 12, 2008||T20I 73|
|New Zealand||166/3||11||v India||162/8||13||-2||Christchurch||Feb 25, 2009||T20I 84|
|England||153/7||2||v India||150/5||4||-2||Lord's||Jun 14, 2009||T20I 109|
|South Africa||130/5||0||v India||118/8||2||-2||Nottingham||Jun 16, 2009||T20I 113|
The third match in the table above is an England victory against West Indies at the Oval, though the hosts hit only one six during a chase of 170. Even Gayle struggled to clear the boundaries in that game, hitting only one six in his 37-ball 61, but Samuels hit three to take West Indies' tally to five. England focused on finding gaps in the field instead - Paul Collingwood hit their solitary six - and reached the target with three balls in hand.
Sri Lanka scored five fewer boundaries (fours and sixes included) than Zimbabwe at King City in October 2008 but still managed to win comfortably. It helped that they had a low target and could pace their chase comfortably. Hamilton Masakadza hit two sixes and Zimbabwe's top six batsmen scored 12 fours between them, but the rest failed and they scraped to 105 in a 17-over match. Sri Lanka knocked off the target in leisurely fashion, hitting only nine boundaries yet finishing the game in 16 overs.
|Sri Lanka||107/5||9||v Zimbabwe||106/8||14||-5||King City (NW)||Oct 10, 2008||T20I 69|
|India||167/3||19||v Australia||166/5||22||-3||Mumbai (BS)||Oct 20, 2007||T20I 47|
|Australia||150/7||13||v New Zealand||149/5||16||-3||Sydney||Feb 15, 2009||T20I 83|
|New Zealand||134/5||15||v South Africa||133||17||-2||Johannesburg||Oct 21, 2005||T20I 3|
|Sri Lanka||163||16||v England||161/5||18||-2||Southampton||Jun 15, 2006||T20I 7|
|India||157/5||17||v Pakistan||152||19||-2||Johannesburg||Sep 24, 2007||T20I 46|
|Ireland||118/6||7||v Scotland||117||9||-2||Belfast||Aug 2, 2008||T20I 59|
|Scotland||100/2||5||v Bermuda||99/7||7||-2||Belfast||Aug 3, 2008||T20I 61|
|England||173/5||19||v West Indies||169/7||20||-1||The Oval||Jun 29, 2007||T20I 16|
|Pakistan||191/7||20||v Bangladesh||161/7||21||-1||Nairobi (Gym)||Sep 2, 2007||T20I 18|
|New Zealand||190||26||v India||180/9||27||-1||Johannesburg||Sep 16, 2007||T20I 32|
|Pakistan||110/3||11||v Zimbabwe||107/8||12||-1||King City (NW)||Oct 12, 2008||T20I 73|
|Sri Lanka||160/4||20||v Australia||159/9||21||-1||Nottingham||Jun 8, 2009||T20I 97|
|South Africa||114/3||11||v England||111||12||-1||Nottingham||Jun 11, 2009||T20I 103|
Only three times have teams won Twenty20 matches despite scoring at a lower run-rate than the opposition, and predictably, all three involved small totals. The first instance was at Eden Park in December 2006, when Sri Lanka were dismissed for 115 in 18.2 overs. New Zealand took a ball more to reach the target and, this might be splitting hairs, their run-rate was 0.002 lower than Sri Lanka's.
The other two occurred in the space of three days in Belfast during the ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in August 2008. Netherlands were bowled out for 97 in 18.4 overs and Canada took 19.3 to knock off the runs at a run-rate 0.11 less than Netherlands'. A day later Kenya were dismissed for 67 in 17.2 overs and Ireland did not win until the final over of their chase.
|Canada||99/6||5.07||v Netherlands||97||5.19||-0.119||Belfast||Aug 2, 2008||T20I 60|
|Ireland||72/6||3.75||v Kenya||67||3.86||-0.108||Belfast||Aug 4, 2008||T20I 64|
|New Zealand||116/5||6.27||v Sri Lanka||115||6.27||-0.002||Auckland||Dec 26, 2006||T20I 12|
Teams who lose more wickets than their opponents tend to lose Twenty20 matches unless the difference between the number of wickets lost is small. For instance, only once has a team won despite losing five more wickets than their opponents. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 163 at Southampton but managed to contain England to 161 for 5. England needed nine off the last over but scored only six.
|Sri Lanka||163||v England||161/5||5||Southampton||Jun 15, 2006||T20I 7|
|India||174/7||v Sri Lanka||171/4||3||Colombo (RPS)||Feb 10, 2009||T20I 82|
|England||188/9||v Zimbabwe||138/7||2||Cape Town||Sep 13, 2007||T20I 25|
|New Zealand||191/9||v West Indies||155/7||2||Hamilton||Dec 28, 2008||T20I 79|
|Australia||150/7||v New Zealand||149/5||2||Sydney||Feb 15, 2009||T20I 83|
|South Africa||128/7||v New Zealand||127/5||2||Lord's||Jun 9, 2009||T20I 99|
|Sri Lanka||144/9||v Ireland||135/7||2||Lord's||Jun 14, 2009||T20I 108|
|England||153/7||v India||150/5||2||Lord's||Jun 14, 2009||T20I 109|
|Bangladesh||166||v Zimbabwe||123/9||1||Khulna||Nov 28, 2006||T20I 9|
|West Indies||208/8||v England||193/7||1||The Oval||Jun 28, 2007||T20I 15|
|New Zealand||190||v India||180/9||1||Johannesburg||Sep 16, 2007||T20I 32|
|South Africa||154/8||v England||135/7||1||Cape Town||Sep 16, 2007||T20I 34|
|New Zealand||164/9||v England||159/8||1||Durban||Sep 18, 2007||T20I 36|
|Netherlands||163/6||v England||162/5||1||Lord's||Jun 5, 2009||T20I 90|
If there's a particular List that you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.
George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo